Wednesday, October 30, 2013

quick stop in Portland

After a few days in Seattle, we headed South to Portland, where we were greeted at check in with wine. Yes, please.

We took a trip back out of the city while we still had a rental car and checked out Multnomah Falls, which is so gorgeous in person.

Back in the city we saw a bunch of people lined up for a doughnut shop, so we figured we should be too. T ate two of these bad boys.

VooDoo donuts

We found a street fair downtown, where vendors had everything from dog raincoats to wooden bowls.

I found these fun leaf-shaped copper earrings. I like supporting local artists, and these were too pretty to pass up.

Lauren Harkness jewelry

The Oregon Ducks store was a playground of green and gold.

Then off to the Japanese Tea Garden...

Japanese Tea Garden, Portland tea garden

Portland rose garden

Monday, October 28, 2013

3 days in Seattle

As I mentioned, T and I are vacationing on the west coast, exploring new cities. We spent a few days in Seattle, where these photos were taken. From the first-ever Starbucks to the aquarium to an underground tour of the older part of the city, it was a great few days.

Aquariums are usually one of my favorite attractions. The Seattle Aquarium did not disappoint, with some adorable resident sea lions and sea otters.

Our home team is in the World Series - go Red Sox!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall kitchen: baked apples

One of the easiest (and almost-healthy) desserts you can make this Fall is a baked apple. And if you've never had one, get in your kitchen right now. You'll need:

4 apples, cored
1 cup rolled oats
4 large marshmallows
1/2 cup brown sugar
teaspoon cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
(you'll divide up these ingredients among the four apples)

Once your apples have been cored, place them in a grease-free baking dish and stick half of a marshmallow in each apple as a sort of cork. Then put a spoonful of brown sugar in each.

Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg into your apples, following with a spoonful of rolled oats. Top with the other half of your marshmallow. Optional addition: A drizzle of honey (or maple syrup) adds an extra sweet touch. Bake about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven and serve alongside your favorite pork dish.

Do you have any family-favorite apple recipes that make their way out in the Fall year after year? I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

trend spotting: pretty in pink

One trend I can't get enough of right now is a lady-like pink coat (especially when paired with gray, black, or leopard). 

pink coat, gray scarf

pink coat

pink coat, leopard heels
images via 1, 2, 3

If you can't get your hands on pink outerwear, Boston-area ladies can head to MiniLuxe for a mani with their newest color, a pale pink to benefit the Ellie Fund Do Good Campaign’s effort to battle breast cancer. All net proceeds from the nail polish bottles go toward the campaign, so you can do something for yourself and for others at the same time! (They recently opened a new location in Lynnfield and have a gorgeous new garnet-colored polish to celebrate the opening.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

how to dry a bouquet

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The bouquets for my sister's wedding were gorgeous. The flowers were exactly what she wanted, and after the weekend, I took her bouquet home to preserve it for her while she got ready to jet off to the honeymoon.

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I used a crochet needle and yarn to string up the bouquet and hang it upside down on a hanger. It's important to hang it upside down so that the flowers keep their shape. Then into a dark, dry closet it went for two weeks to dry.

Mold or mildew may start to grow on some of the flowers, and you can easily kill this with white vinegar. It's amazing stuff. I put some white vinegar into a spray bottle to easily get to the spots I needed to.

Two weeks later...

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With the flowers dried, I took them outside and used a Krylon clear spray to seal them. It's tough to get into the stems, but do it as best you can. Coat all of the leaves and flowers (and berries), and then let dry for about an hour.

how to dry a bridesmaid bouquet, how to dry flowers, how to dry a bouquet, dry a bouquet

I tested everything first on my bridesmaid bouquet before doing her bridal bouquet. My bridesmaid bouquet is definitely not as pretty dried as it was on the wedding day, but it is now dried and preserved. Once you've dried your bouquet, the best place for it to go is into a tissue-lined box so that nothing snaps off.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

chocolate goodies and

If you follow on Instagram, you know that I'm in one of those dreaded weeks - midterms. Whether you're still in school or can think back to that time, you know it's miserable. This morning during a marathon study session, I decided to treat myself to a whole lot of chocolate with a chocolate croissant and a chocolate-and-whipped-topped latte. (The wedding diet can wait.)

Note: I had to dig into that whipped cream before I could even snap a photo.

I was excited to pay for my treats with my new prepaid debit card from I chose this giraffe card because I knew opening up my wallet to see this instead of a boring old card would make me happy. They have a variety of other choices, from animals to cartoon characters to nature scenes. But how cute is he?

Visa prepaid cards from

There are a ton of great features you can find out about on, but one of the best things is that you can't get overdraft fees. Go check out's prepaid debit cards- and, as with anything having to do with your finances, make sure you read all of the rules and fine print.

Compensation for this post was provided by As always, all opinions are my own.

game day style

I come from a family of Patriots fans - yes, the type of people who say "we" instead of "the team". Huge tailgates, Sundays at the stadium, and wearing snowsuits outdoors for hours among thousands of others are typical for us. But on gorgeous Fall days like the ones we've been having lately, I'm drawn to slightly more fashionable items in team colors.

game day style, blue LK Bennett coat, wrap coat, Patriots shirt, booties

shop the look:

Other style notes...

How gorgeous is that LK Bennett blue coat? Here's a similar wrap coat in a camel color for those of you who cheer for a team without blue.

These lace-up style booties are a good alternative to the stacked heel style above.

I like to keep a pair of comfy gloves with me in case it gets chilly when the sun goes down.
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